Top Promotional Channels, Motivations, & Challenges for Marketing

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“The best marketing doesn’t feel like marketing. Innovation needs to be part of your culture. Consumers are transforming faster than we are, and if we don’t catch up, we’re in trouble,” – Ian Shafer

Paid media channels include native advertising, sponsored content, social media advertisements, television commercials, etc. The marketing and advertising fraternity can tailor these promotional channels to address specific goals, audiences, and budgets. These channels deliver highly targeted advertising content to multiple audience segments, including the expanding online audiences. Marketing gurus and professionals aver that paid media promotional channels generate very heavy brand ‘lift’ and confer significant exposure upon the products and services being advertised.

Modern technology-savvy marketing organizations also leverage the power of paid social media. This aspect of modern promotional channels helps marketers to access ever-growing social media audiences. A well-prepared digital marketing strategy enables brands and businesses to reach incremental numbers of online audiences. It also helps to generate long-term impact that helps attract new audiences and enhance brand recall in crowded modern markets. The numerous social media platforms, micro blogging platforms, image sharing platforms, and instant messaging services help advertisers to leverage the publicity prowess of paid social media channels. In addition, these promotional channels offer a persistent online presence to brands and businesses. This aspect of paid social media helps marketers to expand brand awareness, reinforce a brand image in the minds of clients and customers, launch new products and services, and refresh the potency of a legacy brand in modern markets.

Display advertising represents one of the most effective promotional channels in modern markets. The purveyors of this mode of publicity and advertising can design graphical advertisements and ensure their strategic placement on various websites, e-mails, social media messages, landing pages, search engine result pages, online video platforms, micro-blogging platforms, and other digital formats. Display ads can be placed in the form of text, images, audio clips, video clips, animation, and other manifestations of interactive content. The efficacy of online display advertisements is determined by calculating the number of ‘clicks’ received by an advertisement. Other metrics include the number of times a display ad was shown to online audiences and any follow-up action initiated by audiences.

Email-driven marketing represent a remarkable aspect of modern promotional channels. This technique enables modern advertisers to transmit specific advertising and publicity content to the mailboxes of clients, consumers, business prospects, etc. This technique also helps brands and businesses to gain new customers and improve business relationships with existing customers. In addition, email-driven campaigns represent one of the most cost-efficient methods of delivering commercial messages to the modern consumer. E-mail driven promotional channels also enable brands to engage with customers and consumers at their leisure. We note these campaigns reside in the mailboxes of customers at all times. Therefore, recipients can peruse the content of these emails at their discretion. The commercial message therefore, gains high visibility every time a consumer checks his or her mailbox. However, proponents of this technique note that commercial operators need to build consumer databases and design fresh newsletters/content for every iteration of such marketing campaigns.

Affiliate marketing ranks high among modern promotional channels. This technique operates on the premise of commercial collaboration between brands and multiple, independent websites or online media properties. This performance-based marketing technique enables website owners an opportunity to place advertisements on their media properties with a view to market a merchant or brand’s goods and services. In exchange, the property owner earns a percent of profits that accrue to the business operator. Therefore, brands and businesses can speed up affiliate marketing campaigns by adding more websites to their businesses. The affiliates earn on the basis of pay-per-click or pay-per-sale, or pay-per-lead.

Industry influencers or brand influencers help to extend brand ‘reach’ and add more credibility to a business. Among the available promotional channels, these personalities help a brand to quickly add volume to sets of fans and followers. This promotional channel hinges on the ‘word’ of an online personality or a media personality or a sports star to sells products and services. We must note that the influencer’s public image also reflects that of the brand he or she is endorsing. Therefore, brands and businesses must carefully scope the market before signing up an influencer to promote products and services. This technique gains relevance because brand influencers wield outsize influence in this day of the ubiquitous Internet. Every business can use the services of a brand influencer to gain an extra ‘buzz’ among online audiences.

In addition to the above, we note influencers can include industry experts, popular personalities, movie and music celebrities, public figures, and online video stars. These individuals have the power to drive one of the most trusted promotional channels available to modern marketers. These personalities can significantly influence consumer trends and purchase decisions. Large segments of young consumers tend to trust the ‘word’ of influencers that appear regularly in online video platforms. This makes the modern brand influencer into a ‘force multiplier’ that can confer commercial success to a brand or business. Brands with limited advertising budgets should consider influencer-driven marketing by embedding commercial messages in a variety of content platforms. These include social media posts, blogs, online content, online videos, instant messaging platforms, etc. That said, we note that influencer-driven marketing helps to deliver high ROI for brands and businesses. Market research indicates that brands that engage in influencer marketing can earn much higher returns for every dollar they invest on influencers.

The top marketing challenges facing modern marketers include the task of generating online traffic and sales leads. Modern marketers are struggling to produce substantial demand for their marketing messages. Surging volumes of commercial competition, fragmented attention spans of audiences and saturated markets are helping to drive this problem. The sheer number of publicity platforms and devices are making it difficult for marketers to focus their efforts.

Measuring the return on investment (ROI) of marketing activities continues to remain a challenge for modern marketers. We note this problem is directly tied to the (perceived) effectiveness of various marketing campaigns. In addition, the problem is exacerbated by the fact that a lack of measurable outcomes often reduces marketing budgets. Consequently, brands and businesses find themselves in a position where they are unable to increase marketing budgets. This can slow down the momentum of a marketing campaign and brands may end up ceding space to competitors.

The divergent and disparate systems that underpin modern marketing can create poor end-user experiences. Multiple data management systems include point of sale, enterprise resource planning, and customer relationship management processes. These systems tend to be created by different vendors and can stagnate with usage in the real world. Consequently, brands and businesses that have invested substantial resources, time, and labor in these (separate) systems see their outcomes eroded by the lack of interoperability in these business processes. The result is confusion that can undermine the best marketing programs. In addition, a pronounced lack of collaboration between marketers, sales people, merchandisers, brand managers, and e-commerce strategists can defeat the very purpose of creating a fully functional modern marketing machine.

We have examined some of the marketing promotional channels and the problems facing modern marketers in the preceding paragraphs. The modern commercial organization can assess these points of information to forge the best marketing policy in a bid to thrive in competitive modern markets.

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